Monday, November 28, 2005

Grey's heterosexual AM role

Last night's Grey's Anatomy finally debuted a heterosexual AM role. The completely uncompelling title character, Meredith Grey, brings home a South Asian guy from their regular bar. After their one-night stand, she kicks him out (as she has done for her past one night stand, including Patrick Dempsey). The guy Steve, played by Sunkrish Bala, later appears at the hospital, since he remembers that Meredith works there.

I got really nervous when it was revealed that he had an erectile dysfunctional problem and Dr. Bailey correctly implied that the most likely explanation was the abuse of penis pills.

But Steve stuck to his story and was ultimately vindicated--he was suffering from a tumor which caused his perpetual erection. Meredith's character treats him poorly--in her typical self-absorption, she is mortified that she has "broken his penis", and once he makes it through his ordeal, she does not pursue a relationship with him. After all, she's still stuck on Patrick Dempsey's married character. This isn't a knock on Steve's character, Meredith is just a self-absorbed ass whose self-pity blights the screen for a (thankfully) shrinking number of minutes each episode.

Sadly, this likely means that Bala will not be returning for future episodes. That's a shame, he was written and portrayed quite empathetically, written as a sexually competent male of Asian descent (a character rarer than unicorns on network TV) and got positive reviews on many of the show internet forums. Also, it should be noted that the character's name: "Steve Murphy" suggests that the role was written for any actor and a choice was made to cast a person of Asian descent in the role. Good stuff.

I'm thankful that the last two episodes have featured positive portrayals of men of Asian descent.


Anonymous janet said...

Just wanted to say that I've been appreciating your Grey's Anatomy posts especially. Cuz I love the show and your observations are great.

4:56 PM  
Blogger xian said...

Thanks so much for reading! If you get a moment, please be sure to share your own observations, especially if you watch the show! I'm always looking to learn from other folks' perspectives.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous liz said...

It's really progressive that Grey's Anatomy is not afraid to portray different types of inter-racial relationships. There's no question that Meredith has her own issues to resolve before diving into a relationship. However, she should not have treated her one-night stand so coldly. No matter how uncomfortable she felt in that situation, I don't think she really even considered how uncomfortable Steve must have felt. Her lack of empathy in that situation is inexcusable-especially since she is a doctor. On a brighter note, I enjoy watching Yang and Burke's developing relationshiop.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's just a trip that I went to highschool with this guy, shared a lot of classes, and now I see him from time to time on television!

11:05 PM  

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